Columbus Took a Chance


Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 9.22.15 AMThe mantra of my maternal grandmother, probably my clone.  She lived to be 99.5 years, had a great sense of humor, and was overtly willing to try most everything–even a second marriage at 80 years old.

Granted it’s taken far too many years to embrace my single status, but it was time for me to take risks, e.g. go to a movie alone, go to a restaurant alone, etc.  And so, it began.  I ventured to safe havens; I didn’t get my hair and face all made up.  I’d no desire to be some old man’s purse, nor nurse.

Then I decided to do something edgy–something outside my comfort zone–something quasi-dangerous.  I took a chance and obviously survived.  I stop short of saying it was a great or an exhilarating experience; it was fine.  And I DID IT!

I’ve lived in my ‘hood for over 26 years and was always curious about a nearby bar and grill.  It looked tacky from the outside–the kind where there with lots of cars parked in front at 8:00 AM.  Once I asked my savvy daughter about it, “Mom, it’s a dive bar where they serve underage kids.”  Hmm.  Wonder why she knew that.  On another occasion while standing in the grocery store line, I heard the gal in front of me say to the cashier, “Come over tonight.  Hot roast beef sandwich special.”  Hmm.  One of my favorites.

All this data was stored someplace in brain.  Would I retrieve it?  Would I venture into this elusive, dangerous place?  Again, another several years passed.  This week Phoenix was overwhelmed with sweltering heat.  I’d spent two weeks awaiting a cooktop replacement.  It was far too hot to turn on the oven, or to cook on the outdoor grill.  I was tired of microwaved food.  I was hungry, but it was taco night.  Damn, the last thing I needed was a spicy taco to ignite my hair.  I assessed my ‘hood options; none whose cuisine appealed.   Perhaps, I should go to the sketch bar.  Don’t clean yourself up; go as you are.  You’re not looking for the proverbial love in all the wrong places.  Suck it up and go.

As I drove the two miles,  I weighed my decision.  My inner voice echoed, “Sue, are you sure you want to do this?”  I struggled.  What would my kids say?

I walked into this supposed dive bar, which wasn’t dive at all.  Lord, I’ve been in worse.  Over 90% of the folk in there were my age, and fortunately, I didn’t see anyone I knew.  I ate my dinner, listened to the DJ, and silently played his trivia game.  Silently?  Yes, they had formed teams hours ago. Though I knew the answers, I wasn’t on a team. No need to be rude.

I smiled in my short trip back home.  I slew a dragon; I conquered my fear of the unknown; I survived.  I took a chance.

If there’s a next time, I will clean myself up and join a trivia team.




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